Joint Replacement TotalCare Program
Take charge of your journey through surgery and recovery.
At BHS, Joint Replacement TotalCare is a complete program designed by your
surgeon and care team to guide you step-by-step through your preparation,
hospital stay and recovery from hip and knee joint replacement surgery.
Everything you need to know, do, and keep track of is conveniently provided
to you at just the right time. When you are scheduled for surgery at BHS,
the care team at your doctor's office will ask you to provide your
email address and enroll you in the Joint Replacement TotalCare program.
Joint replacement is a significant procedure and may feel overwhelming.
Be sure to ask your orthopedic surgeon any questions you may have. The
goal of our program at Butler Health System is to ensure that you feel
as comfortable and confident facing your procedure as possible.
For questions about the Joint Replacement TotalCare program at BHS, call
Gretchen Fineman, the Orthopedic Navigator, at 724-284-4005.
If you need to contact Tri-Rivers Surgical Associates, please call 866.874.7483.
"I don't know how much you could improve such a great program,
it totally prepares you for the good, bad and ugly. Thank you so much
for a great program." – Patricia F., Joint Replacement TotalCare Patient
The Joint Replacement TotalCare program includes three components:
- Total Joint Camp
- An online program
- Partnership with your family and caregivers
1. Total Joint Camp
The first step of the Joint Replacement TotalCare program is Total Joint
Camp. About four weeks before your surgery, you'll attend a preoperative
program to better prepare you and your support person for what to expect
before, during, and after surgery.
Total Joint Camp includes:
- Pre-operative laboratory testing, EKG, and chest X-Ray, if not performed
by your primary care physician
- Nursing assessment
- Physical therapy overview
- Opportunity for you and your support person to have your questions answered
- Opportunity to meet other patient having similar surgery
2. Online Program
Joint Replacement TotalCare also provides a unique online platform for
patients to access. The Joint Replacement TotalCare online program provides
a step-by-step approach to your preparations and recovery from surgery.
Features of the online program include:
- Checklists and reminders to make your surgical journey less stressful
- Convenient access to important education materials regarding total joint
- Informative videos, including follow-along exercises
- Ability to do your planning and complete forms online to simplify your paperwork
- Provide your surgeon and orthopedic team with important feedback concerning
- Provide your support person with information and updates as you progress
through the program
"I especially loved the online tool program. It really answered a
lot of questions I had, and made me aware of important things. Everything
seemed to run smooth and prepared me for what was to happen. I will definitely
be back when my right knee needs done.” – Marilyn P., Joint
Replacement TotalCare Patient
3. Partnership with Your Family and Caregivers
We support working with your caregivers and family as part of the Joint
Replacement TotalCare program. You can choose a family member or friend
who can act as a personal support person or and "coach” as
you go through the joint replacement process. We'll involve them every
step of the way. Your support person is encouraged to attend Total Joint
Camp with you, and once you add them to your Care Circle in the online
program, they will receive emails with valuable information to assist
you with your journey.
Hip and Knee Replacements - FAQs
What is joint replacement surgery?
The damaged joint surfaces are removed and replaced with artificial surfaces.
It is a last resort treatment option used to relieve arthritis pain and
restore function to the affected joint.
Who is a candidate for total joint replacement?
Ask these questions:
- Have I tried medication and other conservative pain-relieving treatment options?
- Do I have unrelenting pain in the affected joint?
- Do I have significant difficulty with usual daily activities, such as walking,
climbing stairs, cooking, cleaning, and more?
- Has my quality of life suffered due to arthritis pain and joint damage?
The candidate needs to be seen and evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon with
x-rays and an examination. More conservative treatment options are usually
tried before surgery is recommended. Joint replacement surgery is recommended
when pain is no longer well-controlled and joint damage significantly
affects quality of life. Some insurance companies require a trial of conservative
care for a minimum of three months-including use of a cane/walker and
physical therapy-before they will pay for the surgery.
What results can I expect?
It depends on the joint being replaced. Total hip and total knee replacement
surgeries have an excellent record of reliable outcomes. Approximately
500,000 hip and knee replacements are performed in the United States annually.
How long will my new joint last?
It is hoped that a hip or knee replacement will last 15 to 20 years. Implant
companies are constantly seeking ways to improve the longevity of artificial joints.
But there are multiple factors to consider:
Weight - Body weight and obesity can contribute to additional stress on the artificial
components, causing accelerated wear and tear-similar to constantly hauling
heavy loads in your car.
Activity - Activities, such as high impact sports like running and basketball,
will place additional stress on the joint replacement too-similar to driving
a car over rough rather than smooth roads.
Age of patient - The younger the patient, the more likely that he/she will require a
revision surgery in the future. Not only because they will outlive the
life of the implants, but also because generally young patients are more active.
What are the major risks of surgery?
Over 90% of joint replacement patients have a successful outcome. There
is the possibility of complications with any surgery, however. It's important
to know what they are and that they are treatable.
Possible complications include:
- Blood clots
- Loosening of the prosthesis
- Nerve or blood vessel injury near prosthesis
- Problems with anesthesia
How long will I be in the hospital?
Again, this depends upon the joint that is being replaced. Hip and knee
replacements are typically in the hospital for three days, not including
the day of surgery. The trend is toward two post-operative days.
How long does the surgery take?
The actual surgery time is one to two hours depending on the complexity
of the specific case.
Where will I go after discharge from the hospital?
The majority of patients return to their own homes or that of a family
member or friend. About 30% of patients are not safe to go home and require
a short stay in a rehabilitation facility.
Will I need help at home?
Yes, until you are able to manage daily activities safely and independently.
These daily activities include: walking, going up and down stairs, bathroom
needs, cooking, and light cleaning.
What activities/sports can I return to after surgery?
Staying active is strongly encouraged, but activities should be low impact
such as: Walking, swimming, bicycling, golf, doubles tennis, slow dancing,
and so on.
When can I drive?
Usually not until the first visit back to the surgeon, which takes place
about two to three weeks after surgery. You should be examined for strength
and motion in the joint to determine if it is functioning well enough
to operate the vehicle safely. You must demonstrate good control of the
vehicle by practicing in empty parking lots. Driving is forbidden as long
as you are taking narcotic pain medication.
When can I go back to work?
It depends on the type of work and the demands on the new joint. Sedentary
desk type jobs usually return at four to six weeks and heavy demand jobs
return at 12 weeks, but these are rough estimates. You may not return
to work as long as you are taking narcotics.
Why should I have my surgery at Butler Memorial Hospital?
We provide state-of-the-art orthopedic care by university trained surgeons
without having to travel to Pittsburgh. Our joint replacement program
is coordinated with the surgeon's office to provide seamless care and
support from the moment it is decided to have surgery. Helpful information
is available through our web-based program 24 hours a day. We provide
benchmark reliable and consistent care (compared to 50 other hospitals
across the nation) that makes it easy for the patient and family to know
what to expect. Our pain management team provides excellent pain control
with 80% of our patient pain scores 4/10 or less throughout the hospital
stay. Physical therapy is provided 7 days a week including holidays. Each
patient will have a private room and bathroom with flat screen television
and free Wi-Fi.